DOCTOR Paul Saad has inherited Quirindi GP Sokiah Krishnan's surgery but is yet to be allowed visiting rights to the local hospital.
Dr Krishnan is Quirindi's only independent GP and has visiting medical officer (VMO) rights at Quirindi hospital.
Dr Saad wants to continue this.
However, he said Hunter New England Health told him he was unlikely to get VMO rights unless he joined Health One, which he was unprepared to do as he wished to remain an independent GP.
"I've been working in rural NSW for eight years as an independent GP with VMO rights," he said.
Without VMO rights to the Quirindi hospital, Dr Saad said he was unable to admit his patients to the facility, so they would not have continuity of care.
He said he wanted to move to Quirindi for his family, because they lived in Baradine and the larger town would be a change for them.
"I was told, to get VMO rights at Quirindi hospital, I needed to join Health One and be paid by them instead of the Rural Doctors' Association of Australia (RDAA)," he said.
"But I've always been an independent GP and I know how to do my business, so I would appreciate being able to remain independent.
"They told me to go to a smaller town Barraba but we love Quirindi. I practiced there in 2010, helping out five times, and my wife loves the town, because it's geographically close to everything."
Dr Saad said the RDAA, the community, Liverpool Plains Shire Council and Dr Krishnan were supporting him in his VMO application.
"Dr Krishnan shares the roster with Health One, practices independently and has VMO rights to Quirindi hospital, so I just want the same," he said.
Dr Saad will start practicing in Quirindi early next year and said he was hopeful his VMO application would be approved.
"Hopefully Hunter New England Health will consider my application," he said.
Upper Hunter Cluster acting general manager Sue Ayre said Hunter New England Health was working with Dr Saad to negotiate arrangements for him to practice in Quirindi.
"We have discussed a range of options with Dr Saad to set up his practice in his own rooms, and for Dr Saad to have admitting rights to the hospital, working with Medical Directions Australia," she said.
"Negotiations with Dr Saad are continuing and a further meeting will be held to seek agreement on a practical solution.
"I want to assure the community that Quirindi Health Service and Health One will continue to provide emergency, acute and GP services into the future."
Liverpool Plains Shire Council mayor councillor Ian Lobsey said he supported the Dr Saad's VMO application and that he was hopeful of a positive outcome.